ISEE Upper Level Verbal : Synonyms: Prefixes from Latin

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ISEE Upper Level Verbal

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Synonyms: Prefixes

Divert most closely means __________.

Possible Answers:

obstruct

redirect

barricade

overcome

dam

Correct answer:

redirect

Explanation:

The word “divert” comes from two root words that you may know. The “di-” prefix can often mean away from. The “-vert” is found in words like “convert,” “versatile,” “advertise” (as well as many other words). It comes from the Latin for to turn. To “divert” something means to turn something away from its course. Thus, one could think of it meaning something like to deflect or to redirect. For instance, one could say, “The city decided to divert the course of the stream in order to have it flow several miles to the west of the borders of the town.” A “diversion” is something that is meant to take someone’s attention away from another thing or event. For example, in a crime, someone might play the role of “setting up a diversion” in order to allow the robber to do his illegal act without getting caught.

Example Question #11 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

EFFACE

Possible Answers:

vandalize

capable

erase

potential

disfigure

Correct answer:

erase

Explanation:

Several of the answers appear to be acceptable, given the presence of “face” in the word. The word “efface” is derived from root words related to “face,” but it is necessary to be very careful in considering the word’s roots. The “ef-” prefix is the same as the “ex-” prefix that means out of or away from. To “efface” is “to take the face away” from something. What this means is to remove something, as when one erases it. This is the best option among the answers. One also is said to be "self-effacing" when he or she acts in a way so as to hide his or her worth—as though that person were “erasing” his or her own abilities.

Example Question #1761 : Isee Upper Level (Grades 9 12) Verbal Reasoning

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

EVACUATE

Possible Answers:

panic

fret

desert

fear

endanger

Correct answer:

desert

Explanation:

The word “evacuate” literally means to empty, sometimes used in the language of medicine to describe the emptying of the bowels. Of course, you likely have heard the term used to describe the process of fleeing from an undesirable area. For instance, one could say, “The citizens evacuated the town out of fear that the nuclear power plant would soon explode.” The word “desert,” meaning to abandon, most closely matches this sense. Note that the word “evacuate” contains within it the same root word as “vacuum,” meaning empty space.

Example Question #11 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

DISTEND

Possible Answers:

Spread

Extend

Swell

Lengthen

Dispatch

Correct answer:

Swell

Explanation:

The “-tend” found in the word “distend” is related to the same root found in “extend.” It generally means to stretch or (more broadly) to reach. When one “extends” his or her arm, he or she reaches or stretches it out toward something. When something becomes “distended,” it becomes stretched in the sense of being swollen—as in “a distended stomach” because of disease or gaseous buildup.

Example Question #12 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

CONVALESCE

Possible Answers:

Merge

Unite

Recover

Sickening

Aging

Correct answer:

Recover

Explanation:

The word “convalescence” shouldn’t be confused with “coalesce,” which means to merge together. “Convalescence” comes from the Latin “con-,” meaning together, with, or all together, and “valesco,” which means to become healthy. The word would be used in a sentence like, “When Carol contracted pneumonia, she had to spend several weeks in the hospital convalescing before she was strong enough to return home.”

Example Question #21 : Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

COALESCE

Possible Answers:

Heal

Recover

Uncover

Unite

Fossilize

Correct answer:

Unite

Explanation:

Among these options, “heal” and “recover” are attempting to get you to confuse this word with “convalesce,” which means to recover or to regain strength. The word “coalesce” comes from the prefix “co-,” meaning together or with, and “-alesce,” which is derived from the Latin for to nourish or to grow up. When things “coalesce,” they come together, forming a larger whole. For instance, one could say, “All of the ingredients cooked down and coalesced into a single, homogeneous stew.” The word “adolescence” means a stage of growing to maturity, and is related to the word “coalesce.”

Example Question #13 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

EXHUME

Possible Answers:

Bury

Sepulcher

Replace

Unearth

Enliven

Correct answer:

Unearth

Explanation:

The word “exhume” literally means to take out of the earth. The “-hume” portion of the word is the same as that which is found in “humility.” It comes from the Latin for ground or dirt. “Humility” is a disposition that makes one feel “lowly.” When combined with the prefix “ex-”, this root word makes the expression out of the earth.

Example Question #13 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

INUNDATE

Possible Answers:

fund

hoard

vocalize

stack

overwhelm

Correct answer:

overwhelm

Explanation:

The word “inundate” actually comes from the Latin for a wave. The word “undulate” means to have a wave-like motion. For this reason, the word “inundate” can have the specific meaning of to flood. Most normally, however, it is used to mean to overwhelm, as though to imply that someone is “flooded” by some concern or care. For example, one could say, “With all of the applications for the position, the secretary was inundated with paperwork for months, trying to give fair review to each resume.”

Example Question #14 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

PROSCRIBE

Possible Answers:

support

recommend

indicate

medicate

forbid

Correct answer:

forbid

Explanation:

The word “proscribe” is frequently confused with “prescribe,” which means to recommend or authorize (something); however, while the word “prescribe” literally means to to write ahead of time, the word “proscribe” literally means to write in front of. The sense is that one writes something as a law that thus acts to forbid certain actions. This is the best meaning for the term.

Example Question #16 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

REGRESS

Possible Answers:

populate

revert

floral

formulate

lament

Correct answer:

revert

Explanation:

The word “regress” is related to words like “digress” and “progress.” It is comprised of two roots, both of which are likely familiar. The prefix “re-” here means backward, back, or (in a sense) behind. Think of words like “return” or “reply.” The “-gress” comes from the Latin word for to step. The words “grade” and “gradual” both come from this same base, as do the aforementioned words. For example, “progression” is the process of going forward (pro-). The word “regress” means returning (going back) to former stage of development. One can speak of emotional regression, as in, “At age fifty, he seemed to regress to a teenage mentality, buying a number of frivolous things like cars and baseball trophies.” Likewise, one can use the term to talk about cultural regression, as in, “The state of society has been regressing for a generation; not only is the intellectual culture far less developed, but likewise manners have all but died, being replaced with barbaric rudeness.”

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors